EDF Energy's Dungeness B nuclear power plant in Kent will stay online until 2028, it was decided

Ageing nuclear plant granted ten-year life extension

The Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent operated by EDF Energy which was expected to close in 2018 will have its lifetime extended by ten years following a major investment.

EDF said the decision to extend the life of the power station followed extensive reviews of its safety cases and work with the Office for Nuclear Regulator.

"The decision to extend the life of Dungeness B is only possible because of the collaboration, innovation and technical expertise of EDF Energy and its long-term partners,” said Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy chief executive. “Customers will benefit from this significant investment through many more years of reliable, low carbon electricity."

The £150m investment into Dungeness B follows EDF Energy’s decision to extend operations of some of its eight nuclear power stations in the UK.

The firm announced earlier that all of its seven stations powered by advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) will be kept online until at least 2023, when the company's new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset is due to be commissioned.

Dungeness B operates two advanced gas cooled reactors (AGRs) with a capacity of 1050MW and last year produced 4.4TWh of electricity.

"We've invested heavily in Dungeness so that we could make the case to safely extend its life by ten years,” said Martin Pearson, station director at Dungeness B.

"Life extension means the station will continue to provide hundreds of skilled jobs and a launchpad for the apprentices who will begin their careers at Dungeness B.”

The plant, employing about 750 workers, contributes some £40m to the local economy in Kent and East Sussex. It first went online in 1983.

EDF Energy, which is investing about £600m annually into its UK power plants, said it had awarded a contract worth £40m annually to Cavendish Nuclear, part of Babcock International, for maintenance and other support at its nuclear power stations.

"Doosan Babcock is delighted to be playing a pivotal role in such a pioneering partnership that truly sets new standards in collaboration,” Cameron Gilmour, Doosan Babcock's nuclear service director, said.

"We look forward to our continued work with EDF Energy and our peers in the strategic partnership to secure the safe and efficient operations of the UK nuclear fleet well into the future."

Gilmour described the agreement as "great news for the UK supply chain and a positive step forward for the delivery of secure low-carbon power for the UK."

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